It’s been quite a while since I’ve watched a proper concert (no, the resident band at the Thai Bar is not counted!). I think it must years actually. Hmm..Let me think now…. Zainal Abidin, Pearl Jam, Bon Jovi, Jewel… bought tickets for Incubus, but didn’t go… erm… a good 8 years perhaps? Geez, that’s almost a decade!

Although not a full-fledged concert per se (but it might as well have been), Indonesian trip-hop outfit Everybody Loves Irene rocked the Laundry Bar @ The Curve last night, supported by Junk magazine. As part of a Crossborders effort, the 6-piece dished out eclectic fusion sounds backed by incredible vocals from Irene. What’s Crossborders, you may ask?

Crossborders fuses together the aspect of live performances by talents across the Asian region playing on the same stage, sharing music from different parts of the world. Catered mainly to rock music, it is an effort to unify all these bands from the region to create a larger music scene and at the same time, benefit through international exposure. (excerpt from Crossborders MySpace page)

Ipoh punk band Free Love opened with some tracks from their old album as well as new before Everybody Loves Irene took stage. I was introed to ELI by my boo Baby J, who has been a big fan since sampling their music from their MySpace site. Being a fan of Portishead, I too, took a liking to their music almost immediately.

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Their music can only be described as organic and multi-layered – an electronica buffet. Irene’s vocals, which I liken to be a cross between Bjork and Amy Lee of Evanescence, fits the musical fusion of live sounds and electronics like hand in glove. Haunting, angelic and heart-wrenching.

The band was tight and engaging throughout and Irene did not disappoint. The sound system balance wasn’t too good at the Laundry Bar, but like true professionals, ELI took it in stride and rocked the house like any great band would.

Baby J and I bought their debut LP (only RM20!) – The Very First Thing You Must Learn About Flying Is Gravity, on the way out. If you’re a fan of Portishead, Massive Attack, Radiohead and Sigur Ros, ELI is all these and more. I highly recommend this album. If you can’t get a hold of the physical album, get it off iTS (iTunes Store) where most of the tracks were offered as iTunes-exclusive before the release of their album.

Big thumbs up!

Everybody Loves Irene is:

  1. Yohanna Erine Putri Ana Siregar (Irene)
    vocals, chants, screams, backing vocals
  2. Yudhi Arfani
    electric guitar, acoustic guitar, programming
  3. Dimas Anindityo
    electric bass
  4. Mulyadi Triharsono Imam (Adi)
    acoustic drum, drum machine, drum programming
  5. Aulia Naratama
    analogue synthetizer, air synth, sampler, special effects
  6. Nurendro Siwiaji (Aji)
    keyboard, vibraphone

Catch Everybody Loves Irene on MySpace Spotify. You can sample tracks from their LP and also learn more about the band.

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